Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We've Lost a Fighter for Peace and Justice

Terribly sad news from Leonard Lehrman. Many of us had the privilege of meeting Susan at Green Fest when she performed with Leonard and Helene Williams in "The Booby Trap." Leonard writes:

"Susan Blake died this evening, Oct. 2, after a 4-year struggle with breast cancer which had just recently spread to her liver. We've only known her since April 2005, yet during that time we've spoken and/or met with her at least several times a week every week, and sometimes every day. How often have we been astonished at the breadth and depth of her energy and the scope of her interests and activities.

"A tireless organizer for so many good causes, against injustice, against capital punishment, against war, for the appreciation of folk and concert music and poetry, for immigrants' rights, women's rights, human rights--yet she could also laugh at herself, memorably putting across Joel Mandelbaum's satirical song "The Causes Are Waiting for You!"

"And despite losing one breast to the cancer that ultimately killed her, she uninhibitedly joined us repeatedly - whenever we could drive her there - for nude sun- and ocean-bathing at Lighthouse Beach on Fire Island. I've attached a photo Helene took of her presenting a card to Cary Bair there July 21, 2007 on his birthday - in his birthday suit.

"She was a featured performer in - in fact the motor behind - the production of THE BOOBY TRAP or OFF OUR CHESTS, the musical on the connection between breast cancer and bras - which, she believed, may well have been at least a partial cause of her own breast cancer. (WBAI 99.5 FM & wbai.org will broadcast some of her singing of that show Thursday evening Oct. 4 after midnight.)

"She leaves behind a loyal following of activist friends, all of whom have been prodded into consciousness more than once by her persistent urging that there is always something more that can be done to help those who need it.

"No six people could do all she did over so many years as Coordinator of PeaceSmiths in Amityville, with its monthly forum and monthly coffeehouse.

"But working together, inspired by her memory, the organization will, hopefully, continue."

1 comment:

Leonard said...

Thank you for posting this, Rachel. Please correct one word: Helene is not Susan's sister, much as we both feel very close to her: Her last name is Williams, not Blake. Thanks! - Leonard J. Lehrman